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How Do I Avoid Diabetes?

Updated on April 15, 2015

Definition of Diabetes

Diabetes is an extremely serious health problem, affecting 1 in every 4 Americans, or 25% of the population are at risk. The U.S. Dept of Health says 57 million people have pre-diabetes (high blood sugar levels that may lead to Diabetes).

Diet and obesity trigger type 2 diabetes and a high-fat diet is responsible for the onset and severity of the disease.

The rise in obesity, according to the University of Chicago, will increase the 24 million people in the US that have it to 44 million by 2034, which will create a considerable strain on the health system.

What is Diabetes?

The body does not produce enough insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas, to regulate blood sugar levels or the cells ignore it.

Insulin changes food into energy and without it, sugar remains in the bloodstream causing many problems, such as heart attack, stroke, Alzheimers, some cancers, and complications such as blindness, kidney failure and limb amputation.

This is not a road we want to travel.

Causes of Diabetes

Who is at risk?

    • People, particularly women, who are overweight or obese.

    • Risk Factors such as high blood pressure.

    • Ageing, the over 45's who are physically inactive.

    • Close family member has diabetes.

Have your blood glucose screened regularly if any of the above apply to you.


No, it cannot be reversed. There's no cure once you get Diabetes, but making lifestyle changes to improve your health may prevent or delay its onset.

Here is What You Can Do To Avoid Diabetes

No.1 Get Physical

Exercise which may include, aerobic, resistance training (muscle is a potent absorber of blood sugar), if you cannot spare a full body workout for 30 minutes three times a week, then exercise for 10 minutes daily varying your routine. A complete house cleaning is also an aerobic exercise!

No.2 Healthy Foods

Wholegrain breads, pasta and cereals instead of refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, potatoes, sugar have a high glycemic index which causes spikes in blood sugar.

No. 3 Apple Cider Vinegar

Take it in capsule or liquid form every day. It works by lowering the blood sugar surge you get from eating carbs. Take it daily or just before a high carb meal. Apple Cider Vinegar will also lower your high cholesterol level.

SALAD DRESSING 1: You could make a dressing 2 parts vinegar to 1 part Olive oil and pour over salad or steamed vegetables. (Store bought options have the opposite ratio)

SALAD DRESSING 2: Whisk 3 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil, 1 clove garlic (crushed), 1/4 teaspoon honey, 3 tablespoons yoghurt, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Makes four 2-tablespoon servings.)

How to Prevent Diabetes - Prevention Magazine

4. Follow the Mediterranean Diet.

Rich in healthy olive oil, fish and spices. Eat plenty vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts and seeds, whole grains and avoid chemicals and processed foods.

The whole onion family, including garlic, leek and scallion, are perfect for lowering blood sugar. Garlic is also beneficial for high blood pressure and liver disease.

5. Other Natural Aids:

Cinnamon 1g a day and Turmeric - (the yellow in curries) it is not hot and can be sprinkled over your vegetables or meat. Both are easy natural ways to lower blood sugars and cannot do any harm.

Alpha lipoid acid, which can be bought in supplement form, influences cellular antioxidant nutrients and enzymes which can stave off diabetes.

6. Benefits of Soy Protein.

t helps regulate glucose and insulin levels, promotes weight loss and lowers cholesterol. Great benefits, even though it's hard to swallow. If red meat is your main protein, try to replace at least one meal with soy-based food such as tofu or soy burgers.

7. Sweet Drinks.

A Harvard study followed 90 000 female nurses over 8 years, and those who had one or more sugar sweetened soft drinks or fruit punch were twice a likely to develop diabetes. Diet soda can make you hungrier and leave you with a sugar craving.

So what do I drink you ask? Water, lots of it is always good and is included in all the coffee you're drinking too.

Drink More Coffee - Antioxidants help to avoid Diabetes
Drink More Coffee - Antioxidants help to avoid Diabetes

8. Drink more Coffee.

An 18 year study, involving 125,000 participants, at The Harvard School showed that women who drink around 6 cups of coffee per day reduced the type 2 diabetes risk by nearly 30%.

Coffee has antioxidants including magnesium and potassium which can improve sensitivity to insulin. Decaf coffee is not as positive. Now where's my mug?

9. Stress.

Many researchers believe stress raises blood sugars. Well frankly, even if it doesn't, stress is responsible for so many other health risks, that it is well worth managing. Try yoga, meditation, swimming, walking, fresh air helps with emotional healing.

10. Vitamin D

We get from sun exposure, plays a role in insulin sensitivity and secretion. It also reduces complications for those already diagnosed. Other reliable sources is low-fat dairy, milk and fish or take a Vitamin D supplement.

11. Sleep.

Not getting enough of it, around 7 hours should do the trick. Lack of sleep increases hunger pangs which leads to weight gain, which leads to ……

Natural Sleep Aids:

Melatonin for people who wake up too early, but be careful if you suffer from depression.

Valerian is another herb you can take in supplement form, rather than a tea as its horrid tasting. It helps with anxiety and insomnia.

Passionflower has tranquillizing properties and can ease cramps and nausea caused by anxiety. Its sense of calm will also assist in nerve pain, painful menstruation and asthma.

12. Smoking.

Now is the time to quit. Smokers are about 50% more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers. Heavy smokers increase that risk.

How Much Does This Habit Cost You?

New York is the most expensive state in which to smoke, and California is among the few states who haven't hiked the cigarette tax in the last decade.

Smoking in New York costs around $10.14 a pack.

Look at the table, I have made no allowance made for more smoked when socialising. Ask yourself what else could you do with that money, and would it help to pay for a better annual holiday?

$13,00 per pack
4 packs
$2496,00 per annum
Based on Marllboro Cigarettes
$208,00 per month

Prevent pre-diabetes from turning into Diabetes

Symptoms of Diabetes

Early Signs of Diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms:

The symptoms usually come on very quickly and dramatically. It is usually recognised in childhood or early adolescence following a virus, injury or urinary tract infection.

The extra stress can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. Symptoms include nausea and dizziness. Dehydration and serious disturbances in the blood potassium level follow.

If left untreated coma and death will follow.

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms:

  • Frequent urination.
  • Unusual thirst.
  • Extreme hunger.
  • Unusual weight loss or gain.
  • Extreme fatigue and Irritability.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal.
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet.
  • Recurring skin, gum or bladder infections.
  • Yeast infections in both men and women.

People with type 2 diabetes may also have no symptoms.


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    • freelanceinfo profile image

      Sha 3 years ago

      Thank you very much really for writing this very useful hub. I need to be more careful about my diets and lifestyle. Prevention is better than cure.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      DDE, the lifestyle changes are quite big if one gets Diabetes, and Type 2 is relatively easy to avoid if addressed in time. Great to hear from you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An eye opener in preventing diabetes, once you have one has to make the necessary changes.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Hello Lela Donelson, Thank you for visiting, I am sorry about your husband's diagnosis. I know from my mother's Type 2, that it takes some getting used to, but moderates itself quickly if the Doctor's dietary instructions are strictly followed. Wish you both well.

    • Lela Donelson profile image

      Lela Donelson 5 years ago from Houston TX

      Your article is timely as my husband was just diagnosed! I have bookmarked your article.

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      I haven't had gumbo and I detest it. I know ingredients include tomato sauce, okra, and fish. I know of several places that supposedly make good gumbor but I will never judge.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Hi Diane, no problems apparently its widely used all over the world, including the USA and the Caribbean - a stew of other vegetables, okra and meat is made and called gumbo, according to Wikipedia.

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      Thank you lotus! I'm sorry Shelley! I think I told you before that I sometimes glaze over comments. Okra! Never! It looks like snot!

    • lotuslove19 profile image

      Sarika Mehra 5 years ago

      Its okra which is locally called lady's finger,if you see shelley's comment you will notice she wrote the other name too.

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      Ladies' fingers??? Is this human fingers or a joke?

    • lotuslove19 profile image

      Sarika Mehra 5 years ago

      Shelly,I am using both the remedies for my husband and his blood sugar sticks to normal.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      lotuslove19, I'm sure the lady who lost her finger won't think its wonderful! ha ha. As I didn't know what Ladies finger was I looked it up and its Okra, in case anyone else is as mystified as I was! Thank you so much for visiting, and teaching me something new, I appreciate it.

      Thank you for the two remedies, which are very useful to know and will help my readers.

    • lotuslove19 profile image

      Sarika Mehra 5 years ago

      Shelley,here are other 2 home remedies that help to control diabetes.

      Having whey everyday twice ,helps to control diabetes,and soak 2 lady's finger(chopped) in a glass of water overnight and remove the chopped lady's finger from the glass and drink it everyday empty stomach it work wonders.

    • IntroduceCroatia profile image

      Ante Rajic 5 years ago from Croatia

      Nice article, learned something new :)

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      dianetrotter, Glad the hub was useful, and so glad you visitied!

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      This blows my mind!!! I have had to A1C's this year. I'm pre-diabetic. Dr. told me I'm low in Vitamin D. My mom use to drink vinegar. I love the salad dressing ideas. Thank you! Rich!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Lela Donelson, LOL, and thanks for visiting!

    • Lela Donelson profile image

      Lela Donelson 5 years ago from Houston TX

      Great article. I drink those 6 cups+ !

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Mama Kim 8, I am so glad the article help you, thank you for coming by and the votes!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Great timing, I've actually been wondering about diabetes lately and this answered quite a few of my questions. Thank you for all the great information. ^_^ voted up and useful

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Glimmer Twin Fan, Glad you're taking care, hopefully it will go no further! Thanks for stopping, I appreciate your visit.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Family history and some of the risk factors. I'm already taking measures to avert this. Important and Useful hub!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Patty, Thank you so much for the votes - Isn't it great that both of us can enjoy our coffee?

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 5 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      Voted Up, Useful, and Interesting!! Phew...I do drink a ton of coffee and always love hearing the benefits of that!! I had learned a lot from this hub and appreciate you taking the time to share this information!!!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      MundaneMonday, Thanks for stopping, I wish we could annihilate this disease and a quite a few others I can think of. Appreciate your comment.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      billybuc, Glad to hear it, from your photos you look very healthy! Keep it up and thanks for visiting.

    • profile image

      MundaneMondays 5 years ago

      this disease is nothing, good info..with all the hubs about this ? we can stop and annihilate this in its tracks

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good information! Being adopted, I have no family history to work from, but I am in good shape with no warning signs. This was helpful; nice job.